Critics Of Party Turn On Party Leader Hubert Minnis
SENIOR members of the Free National Movement are reportedly concerned about the state of the party under the leadership of Dr Hubert Minnis, citing the alleged “malaise” the FNM has now found itself in since its general election defeat.
With the party poised to have constituency openings in the next few weeks, these party insiders believe that the FNM’s limited financial resources would better be spent on clearing some of its campaign bills rather than opening offices throughout the country.
“This is foolishness, and his (Dr Minnis’) detractors are growing. This division could destroy the party. And these ‘real inheritors’ of the FNM as they put it, are waiting in the wings. They say that this is what Cecil would have wanted. To them, even (former Prime Minister Hubert) Ingraham was never truly one of us. Yes he came, and yes we won, but he was never a true-true FNM. This is the thinking, they are re-establishing ownership of the party. This should be about restrengthening the FNM to benefit the Bahamian people,” a confidential party councilman said.
Dr Minnis was unanimously elected to the post of leader at a one-day convention on May 26th following the resignation of the party’s former leader Hubert Ingraham after the May 7th election defeat. Dr Minnis was first elected to the House of Assembly in 2007 and served as the Minister of Health under the previous Ingraham administration. His leadership was first questioned by his party’s chairman, Charles Maynard who noted that Dr Minnis, along with his deputy Loretta Butler-Turner had between 12 to 18 months to “prove themselves.”
However, other members of the party, including the former candidate for Elizabeth Dr Duane Sands called on Dr Minnis’ detractors to allow him the chance to prove himself, pointing out that the support that Mr Ingraham had in the party was not won “overnight.”
“There are some that like him, and there others that don’t but these are early days. Now for the future; I don’t know what the future holds. If he continues down the road that he’s on he will endear himself with more rank and file members of the FNM. At this point it makes for interesting conversation, but we also support the leader of the party and we don’t expect for him to have the type of support that Hubert Ingraham would have after 20 years. That would be unreasonable to believe that you can come in on May 9th and by July 17th you are enjoying the same kind of popularity as Hubert Ingraham,” Dr Sands said.
Another point of contention that remains in the party is a reported deep divide between Dr Minnis and his deputy leader.
Reportedly Mrs Butler-Turner has not been allowed to attend various meetings of the party as the pair do not see “eye to eye.”
“There are persons within this party who have years, and years of experience who want to work, but they are not being given the chance. He (Dr Minnis) wants to reinvent the wheel. The FNM is a big tent with new faces, but you have to blend the new with the experienced.
“Continuity is key to the FNM’s forward success. Personal ambitions must be put aside for the good of the party and by extension the Bahamian people.
“Already we can see that the public is suffering from ‘buyers remorse’. The PLP has promised change, but they have not changed. They are settling old scores. The FNM must be on guard to defend against that, and strong leadership is what is required,” the insiders said.